Meet Charlie Fouillard, the Canadian breeder who can no longer hide in the shadows
Charlie Fouillard, owner of a tire store in Saint-Lazare and rancher in Manitoba, usually avoids the spotlight and he certainly doesn’t need the attention. But it’s hard to avoid that when you’re so close to quality thoroughbred broodmare gold. Fouillard raises and breeds horses with Cam Ziprick on his farm in God’s Country, Manitoba, just south of Russell near the Saskatchewan border. They say there’s no better place to breed horses in Manitoba.
Mares and colts commute between Fouillard’s facility in St. Lazare and Ziprick’s farm in Russell while weanlings and colts spend most of their time running around Fouillard’s pastures.
Fouillard and his wife Karen – they have been married for 30 years – are responsible for raising hundreds of horses with their four children, Julien, Steve, Damien and Hannah. The latter will graduate from nursing school with a bachelor’s degree in nursing while her three brothers are employed at the nearby potash mine.
The boys are helping on form and getting more involved in racing and breeding with Bearly Regal, an ace who finished second in his only start as a two-year-old last year, and mare Marianda, who is now part of a broodmare group that currently includes Manitoba’s top mares including High Pioneer, Jungle Storm and Danger Play.
High Pioneer is the dam of champion full sisters Hidden Grace and Melisandre while Jungle Storm is the dam of champion Why So Blue and $222,050 winner Lightnin Fast Girl. Danger Play, meanwhile, is the dam of Millionaire Escape Clause, the best Manitoba-bred mare in history. The Manitoba stars mentioned have produced 16 winners who have triumphed in 97 races and earned over $2 million.
All three are full of Speculating.
Fouillard, who started out with quarter horses before switching to thoroughbreds around 2007, tends to herding his farm in the spring with Speculating and also foals the mares. The broodmare is equipped with cameras and sensors so that he is notified when the mares are ready. The breeder is eagerly awaiting Speculating’s first batch of babies to be born this spring.
“The greatest pleasure of raising and owning horses is seeing the new babies,” he told Canadian Thoroughbred’s GS Thompson. “It’s fun to watch them grow up and hit the track at 2 years old. Just to see how they turn out.
“Every time you start a new stud, it’s exciting to see what the babies will be like,” Ziprick added.
He can take pride in being responsible for retired stallion Going Commando and he has every reason to be anxious about Speculating’s prospects of becoming one of Manitoba’s top stallions.
Speculating is Medaglia d’Oro’s only product in Canada and closely resembles his sire, who also produced 26 Grade 1 winners such as Golden Sixty, Songbird and Rachel Alexandria. It sold for $235,000 at Keeneland’s 1-Year-Old sale in September 2017 and was repurchased for $345,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training sale.
Speculate is also the half-brother of Well Armed, a multiple Group/Grade 1 winner, Railbird Stakes winner and entry producer Witty, a Grade 1 placed in Helsinki, as well as Only In America, an entry winner, and Life Well Lived, the dam of Grade 1 winner American Patriot.
The breeding pair are banking on Speculating to replicate Going Commando’s success as a stallion. In the meantime, they will have three young horses at the racetrack this year with trainer Devon Gittens, along with several other yearlings for the annual Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale.
Certainly bettors in Canada will be keeping tabs on the Fouillard thoroughbreds and should be able to find odds for all the high profile races via Ontario sports betting apps.
Fouillard will find it difficult to avoid the spotlight as he has become synonymous with pedigree. One of the young entrants could turn out to be quite the runner.
If you get to the end of Fouillard’s stable, you’ll see her Breeder of the Year and Broodmare of the Year plaques hanging on the wall. You would probably like to come in too.
“If you really want a story, we’ll go over there and have a drink,” he told Thompson.
“I told him to bring a duffel bag,” Ziprick added.
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